Sunday, February 26, 2012

Uganda on My Mind

I am so excited about what is happening in Uganda. Last year was my third trip to Uganda to teach sewing to the women of the villages. I worked with 3 ladies in particular on how to make children's clothing. We purchased 3 treadle sewing machines and asked that they practice their skills by making clothing for the children of the village. You see, in Uganda, there are many orphans. In the villages, many people die from aids, malaria, and other illnesses. When parents die, the other villagers take care of the children. The problem is that they are barely able to provide for their own children, so many of the orphans run around with no clothes, or clothes that are so badly torn you wonder , "Why bother?"
A few weeks ago, our fearless leader who is now living in Uganda, John Pipes, came for a visit to Visalia. We had a wonderful visit and set plans in motion for another trip this summer. So many exciting things to tell you!

  1. The women of the village that we worked with have now made clothes for all of the orphans in their village and even more children! This is such a blessing!
  2. The women have started their own outreach by mending clothes for others in the village. There is a resource center in the village of Busanna where many people gather. Two of the sewing machines are housed here and people are bringing clothes that need mending and the women are doing it for them!
  3. We have another lady from our church joining us this summer named Bea. She is maybe 80 years young and full of spunk. She will be a fun person to have along.
  4. I am so excited that my son is going to be joining us this year! He is 24 and in pre-med classes at Fresno State. He will be working with people in the villages that are in need of physical therapy or other medical support.
  5. We are hoping to do our bible study this year with the women on God's plan for trials in our lives. I can't think of anything that could be more supportive. We will be using the book of James.

Does this sound like something you might be interested in? We have room for one or two more people to go. If you are a believer and have a heart for missions or the people of Africa, I would ask that you ask God in prayer if this is something He would want you to be involved in. If you are interested in knowing more, you can email me at nwinning at gmail dot com. We will also need prayer warriors and financial supports, so pray about that too! I will be giving more information for that soon.

We are planning our trip for somewhere around the 6th of June and going for two weeks.

I am getting so anxious for our trip this year that I'm already thinking about packing. This year I want to take a lot less stuff so that I can fit everything into one bag. I'm hoping to take only 3 skirts (after all, most of the women there only own one or two skirts) and about twice that many shirts. I'm planning on making the skirts reversible so that I can have more mix and match options, but still not have a lot of weight in my pack. The first skirt I am considering is the A-line skirt from Christine Johnson. It has two seams in the front, two in the back, and no side seams. It has an elasticised waist. There was an interesting article in Threads this month about combining fabrics to change the hand and weight of the fabric. I think this would work really well to make a reversible garment, so I'm going to give it a shot. I'm going to use a knit on one side and a rayon crinkle georgette on the other.
I also have some other fabrics pulled out of the closet that I would like to use to make two more skirts. You rarely see the women in the villages sleeveless, so I'm thinking maybe of doing tanks with light weight over shirts. I want to take things that are easy to wash out and dry quickly since I usually hand wash laundry almost every night. Travel clothes are really expensive if you go to sites like or Magellans. They are great clothes, but it would be so much cheaper if you could just find the fabric and make them yourself. I haven't found a source for the dry flight fabric, but many of the skirts are made out of polyester, nylon, or cotton lawn. I've even seen travel skirts made from Liberty lawn! The weather is hot and humid there, so I definitely need something that is cool, breathes, and is light weight. I will not have access to an iron (they do have the kind that you shovel in coals from the fire!!) so I'll have to go with fabric that doesn't wrinkle. Suggestions?


Mary said...

Nancy, How wonderful that all your hard work is bearing fruit. I wish your group the best in the future. I am not religious so will only add my support with positive thoughts and if you need fabric, let me know. I'll be happy to donate.

morangoechocolate said...

Lindo o seu trabalho, me emocionei, com esta estória tão bonita...parabéns

Anonymous said...

I have been looking for an organization close to home (Sacramento) that could deliver dresses and little boy shorts to Africa. I am aware of the Dresses to Africa project, but even shipping to Wisconsin (Nancy Zeiman-Sewing with Nancy-she will ship if you send the dresses and shorts to her) is expensive. Would your church be interested in delivering these items? If not, do you have any ideas? I love your blog. Please send your response to Thanks.

Leslie V said...

Reading your blog brought tears to my eyes. I wish God would allow me or send to Africa again. I love to teach sewing to women and girls especially would like the opportunity to teach those on African soil. God Bless You!!!

Tee said...

My prayers are with you...can you use some fabric. I have a stash that wants to go with you!

Nancy Winningham said...

Several people have asked about sending things with me. I appreciate so much your generosity, but it is such a catch 22. I only take a carry on suitcase because it is so expensive to take extra luggage. Shipping is also so expensive. And, the fact is, it is way cheaper to buy things there. I can buy good fabric there for about $2-$3 a yard, so I never take fabric with me. One year I took as much as I could pack in my suitcase, and left most of my clothes there. I will be making another post soon of how you can help. Thanks!